New Zealand is celebrating 100 days without recording a single community transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
Since the start of the pandemic, New Zealand has become a champion of proper response and prevention with a total of 1,569 confirmed cases, 22 deaths and 23 active cases from COVID-19 to date.
On the other hand, Malta seems to be heading in the opposite direction with a second wave that has seen more active cases than ever before.
Despite the public health milestone, New Zealand’s health authorities are still erring on the side of caution.
“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent,” said Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.
“We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand.”
Neighbouring Australia has fared far worse with a spike in COVID-19 cases resulting in 17 deaths.
As such, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Australians would not be able to visit the country until the end of the year.
“It’s clear to us that opening up with Realm countries, keeping in mind they are New Zealand passport holders, will come before any opening up with Australia,” she told Newshub.
Ardern took an aggressive approach to the pandemic when it first hit the island in March, opting for a strategy of elimination and putting the country in a hard lockdown throughout April.
By June, most restrictions were lifted but the country remains closed to foreigners.